Dull Sandstone Kitchen Tiles Revitalised in Quarry Bank Mill

Quarry Bank Mill is an old textile mill just outside of Wilmslow in East Cheshire that dates back to the Industrial Revolution when it was used to produce cotton. The mill is now under the care of the National Trust who recently put together a £9.4 million project, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund the further restoration of the mill and its gardens.

The 18th century mill is now a popular attraction and I was recently asked to clean and seal the Sandstone flooring in the Kitchen of the head gardeners cottage. The cottage is actually located in the formal gardens which were recently visited by HRH Price of Wales.

Sandstone Kitchen Floor Tile Before Cleaning Quarry Bank Mill Cottage

The Sandstone Kitchen floor was in good physical condition so unlikely to be the original however like any stone floor in constant use the sealer was wearing off and dirt was becoming ingrained in the pores of the stone detracting from its overall appearance.

Sandstone Kitchen Floor Tile Before Cleaning Quarry Bank Mill Cottage

Cleaning Dirty and Dull Sandstone Flagstones

Our first job was to protect the wooden kitchen units and other woodwork with tape. Next I set about cleaning the Sandstone and stripping any reaming sealer off in the process. To do this I applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go, which is multi-purpose stripper and cleaner. The product strips away any old sealer on the tiles and draws out ingrained dirt, stains and heavy grease build-up.

I applied the product and left it to soak for roughly fifteen to twenty minutes to allow time to break down the old sealer and penetrate the pores of the stone to reach any embedded dirt. Next, I scrubbed the floor using a specialised buffing machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad swelled with water to get the stone clean. The resulting dirty cleaning slurry was quickly soaked up using a wet vacuum and after rinsing with water With the floor clear I was able to spot stubborn areas that need more work and repeated the process.

With the stone clean I turned my attention to the grout lines and scrubbed in a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was then rinsed off with water. I then completed another spot check of the floor whilst using the wet vacuum to get the floor as dry as possible. With the cleaning part of the job complete I left for the day to allowing the floor to dry off fully overnight.

Sandstone Kitchen Floor Tile After Cleaning Quarry Bank Mill Cottage

Sealing Sandstone Kitchen Tiles

Upon returning to the property the following day, I tested the floor with a damp meter, checking for any excess moisture that could prevent me from sealing the stone. The floor proved dry and so I began to seal the Sandstone starting with a single coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. Colour Grow is an impregnating sealer that is designed to fill the pores of the stone blocking dirt from becoming ingrained there whilst enhancing the natural colours in the stone at the same time.

Once the Colour Grow was dry I followed with the application of five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a compatible water-based acrylic sealer which provides both a stain resistant surface seal and a durable low-sheen finish.

Sandstone Kitchen Floor Tile After Cleaning Quarry Bank Mill Cottage

The floor now looks much healthier and the new sealer show keep it looking that way for some years to come.
 
 

Professional Renovation of a Sandstone Tiled Floor in Wilmslow

Victorian Tiled Hallway Repaired and Cleaned in Prestbury

This fantastic chequered black and white Victorian Tiled Hallway was located at a house in the village of Prestbury north of Macclesfield in Cheshire. According to Wikipedia Presbury is part of the “Cheshire Golden Triangle” villages which include Wilmslow and Alderley Edge which are the most sought after and expensive places to live outside of London.

It was a lovely building however a new stair case had been fitted which didn’t quite match the foot print of the original staircase leaving a gap in the hallway tiling. The owner of the property wanted matching tiles fitted and also to give the floor and good clean and seal so they would blend in.

Chequered Victorian Floor Prestbury Before Repair and Clean

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Floor

To clean the floor and strip off any remaining sealer I first created a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean cleaning solution which is a versatile alkaline cleaner that’s designed for use on tile, stone and grout. reliably eradicates dirt on a wide variety of natural stone floors.

The solution was applied liberally across the floor, and left to dwell for about ten minutes to allow time for it to soak into the Victorian tiles. It was then scrubbed into the tiles using a scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary cleaning machine. The resulting cleaning slurry was rinsed off with water and then extracted from the floor using a wet vacuum. I repeated this process until I was confident the tiles were clean and free of old sealer.

The next step was to treat the floor to an acid wash using Acid Gel, this is especially important on old floors where there is no damp proof course to prevent damp rising through the tile leaving salt deposits on the surface. This problem is known as efflorescence and is neutralised by the acid. The gel was then removed and the floor given another rinse using the wet vacuum to get the floor as dry as possible.

The last task of the day was to fix replacement tiles in the gap left by the original staircase. Fortunately, Tile Doctor keep a range of replacement tiles so I was able to source some that matched without too much problem. After grouting the hallway was left to dry off fully overnight so it could be ready for sealing the next day.

Chequered Victorian Floor Prestbury After Repair and Clean

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor

The next morning, I returned to the property and ran some damp tests. This is incredibly important to do before sealing any tiled floor because any excess moisture can cloud the sealer and prevent it from doing its job properly.

Once satisfied that the floor was dry, I applied a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a breathable impregnating sealer that enhances colour and protects from within. I dusted off any excess sealer and then followed up with the application of four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which provides both a robust surface seal and a long-lasting low sheen finish. I waited two hours for the sealer to dry and then the rotary machine fitted with a white buffing pad over the floor to makes sure everything was nice and tight.

Chequered Victorian Floor Prestbury After Repair and Clean Chequered Victorian Floor Prestbury After Repair and Clean

 
 

Professional Victorian Tiled Floor Restoration in Prestbury